MIT creates super-fast camera that can track light as it travels

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Cambridge, MA – Massachusetts Institute of Technology creates a super-fast camera that turns a nanosacond into 20-second footage.

During the early 1960’s at MIT, professor Harold Edgerton managed to capture images that could be hard to draw up to this very day, by recording them  on a motion picture camera converted to shoot at previously impossible speeds, and lighting them with an electric flash he invented himself, thus making a name as the man who froze time.

Now, 50 years later, MIT is again at the center of attention as it has created a new super-fast camera that can capture light as it travels. This exciting innovation can photograph a trillion frames per second. Can’t see the magic yet? Well try to compare the trillion frames per second with an ordinary camera that takes roughly 24. Of course the technology developed and used may not have had the capture of light as its primary purpose but it sure is a possible option that could create new ways to a plethora of scientific fields.

There have been some videos released which demonstrate footage of light photons traveling 600-million-miles-per-hour through water. The actual event happened in a small fraction of time (a nanosecond) but thanks to the camera it can be viewed as a 20-second footage with even the slightest detail remaining crystal clear.

“If a bullet were tracked in the same fashion moving through the same fluid, the resulting movie would last three years,” said John Markoff a writer of New York Times.

Of course, it’s practically impossible for the camera to record actual light directly so instead of that, is takes millions of scans to recreate each image. The process is known as femto-photography and according to Andrea Velten, a researcher involved with the project, “There’s nothing in the universe that looks fast to this camera.” Judging by the camera’s capabilities, I’d add that nothing looks fast in the whole world to this camera.

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